What Is A Computer


In this world most of the things you see around yourself are using a computer either to function themseleves or a computer is being used to make them. Nothing and nobody is left untouched or unaffected from the effects of a computer.

What is a Computer?

A computer is a machine which is widely used in our daily lives. Its basic functions include taking in data (inputs), converthing it into some useful information (Processing) and then saving it for later usage.

What is a Computer Made of?

A computer is mad up of both hardware and software.


In a computer everything that can be touched or felt by us ids called computer hardware e.g, Moniter, Keyboard, Mouse, Hrad Disk, RAM etc.


Software rovides the link between the machine (Hardware) and the person using that machine. Software is a set of instructions given out in a language which machines can under tand and so carry ut whatever we want them to do. Different software`s can be created to carry out different tasks. For example a word processor was used to write this book.

The tow main types of Softwre are:

1. System Software              2. Application Software

System Software:

System software helps differentparts of the computer to communication with each other and allows the user to run diffirent application software. The operating system is the most commnly sed system software.

What is an operating sysem?

End user >>>>> Operating System >>>> Application Software >>> Computer Hardware

An oreating system provides a bridge between the application software and the computer hardware. When we start thr computer the first thing that happens is the loading of the operating system in to the primary storage deviece, the RAM , from the secondary storage device , the hard disk. This process is called Booting the system. Nearly all operating system perform the following three key functions:

  1. Efficiently managing the different resources of the computer such as memory. Procressor, hard drives, printers etc.
  2. Provide the user with an interface ( environment) to communicate with the computer.
  3. Help in running different application software.

The most widely used operating system include Micreosoft Windows and DOS.

Microsoft Windows:

The most unique and highly user friendly feature of Microsoft windows is its GUI ( graphical user nterface. I-cons, pull down menus, dailouge boxes etc.). In windows a user can just point and click on an I-con with a mouse and a specfic command is exected. Another important eature of windows is its ability to do multiple jobs at the same time for example you can work on a word precress, open a spreassheet software an d listen to music  running media player at the same time.

DOS (Disk Operating System):

Dos is a command driven opreating system that was introduced in 1981 for IBM pc`s. It is not very eassy to use because a user has to remember exact commands and if they are enterd even slightly diffirent the computer will not be able to understand or perform those funions or tasks. Furthemore in DOS you can only perform ne function at a time and beacause of these reasons it is not widley sed.

Application Software:

Application software is used to perform different functions on a computer. Different application software can perform differnt functions such as a word processor. Spread sheet , a computer game or a media player etc.

What are computer devices?

Computer devices are different parts of a computer some of the common examples are:

  1. Input Devices                                          2. Output Devices

3 . Processing Devices                             4. Storage Devices

Input Devices:

Any device through which data can be entered in to a computer system is called an input device, for example a keyboard, a mouse. a scanner, a microphone ( to record sound) etc.

Output Devices:

Any device which can be used to display or transmit data is an output device for example the monitor, the printer, speakers etc. It may be interesting to know that a modem is both an input and an output device.

Processing Devices:

The computer devices which are used to perform some function on the input data, like adding it, storing it or editing it, are called processing devices.The most common example is the microprocessor.

Storage Devices:

Any device which stores the data, permanently or temporarily, is called a storage device. Permanent storage devices include hard disks, floppy disks and CD-ROMs while a RAM is a temporary storage device.

Important Concepts:


Inputs are raw data entered into the computer. This data can be in the form of numbers (22231), symbols (#*#$^), alphabets (dtoelqLby), pictures etc.


Processing is any function that the computer performs on the input data. These functions are performed by using the microprocessor.


After processing the inputs the computer displays the results in the form of outputs. For example take 2+3 = 5, in this example the 2 and 3 entered are data or inputs the function of adding them together (+) is processing and the result 5 would be the answer.


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